I've read several of the negative reviews on here and understand their frustrations, but some seem disappointed that Tom Hanks wasn't the conductor and they didn't see Aerosmith singing at the end. This train ride is put on by amateurs and it is an attraction that is trying to maximize its profit margin for a small town that finds itself at the end of the tourist season.
Magical for adults? No. For children? Yes. They can see past a lot of the things adults may notice like the lack of a steam engine and the instant cocoa. Some of the scenery wasn't great but train towns often have poor housing around them. However, if you ride when there's daylight, the view of the river is spectacular. Care was taken to ensure that all the house lights matched which added to the illusion that you were at the North Pole. Our "chefs" were good and enthusiastic. Now, they don't hop and dance on the seats, but maybe a dance group would be a nice addition in the future. Santa seemed rushed, but overall he was good. We liked the fact that we got jingle bells at the end. A nice surprise. My four year old daughter noticed that the reindeer were fake so maybe getting some real ones or leaving them out would be good. Be sure to take your copy of the Polar Express and ask Santa to sign it